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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Toronto’s architectural gems–the Design Exchange (The original Toronto Stock Exchange)

Stock  The building on Bay Street that at one time housed the Toronto Stock Exchange was deigned by the architectural firm of George and Moorehouse, in associate with S. H. Maw. It was Maw who conceived the simple but impressive facade and selected the Canadian artist Charles Comfort to created the frieze, which depicts various Canadian industries. The building cost $750,000, the price considered enormous for that decade. When it opened in 1937, it was said to be the most up-to-date trading floor in the world.

The facade is  a combination of art deco and streamlined moderne. Its surface is relatively flat, with no indentations, maximizing the interior space. The carved stone designs of the frieze, sculpted by Peter Schoen, can be seen above the two imposing front doors. Employing a mixture of 1920s designs, the frieze depicts the various industries whose stocks traded on the Exchange floor within. The figures are bold, almost heroic in size.

The windows on the first floor are deeply recessed into the pink granite. Above the first floor, on either end of the building, are parallel straight lines. The ledge near the top of the structure, below the small rectangular windows, contain modillions that display touches of classical designs.

The trading floor of the exchange has no columns to support the roof, maximizing the space within. When it opened, no women were allowed on the trading floor. On a busy day, over 500 men shouted and gestures with their hands and arms as they bought and sold stocks on the exchange.

The symmetrical facade of the Toronto Stock Exchange Building that opened in 1937.

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The frieze above the first-floor level of the old Stock Exchange Building.

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The walls with similar parallel lines to those on the facade, and the gold leaf designs on the ceiling.

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Panels that decorate the trading floor by Canadian artist Charles Comfort. They are heroic in scale, which suited the mood of the 1930s when people were weary from the distressing economic news of the Great Depression.

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Large glass medallion on the grand staircase. It depicts an Egyptian farmer sowing wheat.

The TSE Building was designated a heritage property in 1978. It was vacated in 1983 when the stock exchange relocated to the Exchange Tower at King and York Streets, where The Globe and Mail Building once stood. In 1992, when construction was completed on the fifth tower of the TD Centre, the old Stock Exchange Building was surrounded by modern architecture. Today, the building is home to the Design Exchange, which promotes designs and the artistic endeavours of Canadians.

I have spent much of my adult life researching and photographing Toronto. I love the city and enjoy exploring it through my writing. One of the books, “The Villages Within”, was nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. If interested in novels with a Toronto setting, descriptions of the books are available by following the link: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/toronto-author-publishes-seventh-novel/

They can be purchased in soft cover or electronic editions. All books are available at Chapters/Indigo and on Amazon.com. The electronic editions are less that $4 on Kobo and Kindle. Follow the links:

There Never Was a Better Time: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000056586/THERE-NEVER-WAS-A-BETTER-TIME.aspx

Arse Over Teakettle: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx

The Reluctant Virgin; http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx

The Villages Within: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000175211/The-Villages-Within.aspx

Author’s Home Page: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

Authors can be contacted at: tayloronhistory@gmail.com

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Toronto

 

Exploring Toronto’s architectural gems–the Canada Life Building

For several decades, the impressive Canada Life Building at 330 University Avenue was one of the tallest structures in the city. The 15-storey building was constructed between 1929 and 1931, in a record time of eighteen months. The staff moved into the building on 23 March 1931. Designed by the architects Henry Sproatt and Ernest Rolph, they chose the Art Deco style. Henry Sproatt was born in Toronto and studied in Europe and New York. Partnered with various associates, he designed the Royal York Hotel and the Eaton’s College Street Store, now known as College Park.

During the late-1920s, plans were made for the intersection at Queen and University to become a grand square and traffic circle on a larger scale than even the famous Piccadilly Circus in London. It was to be named Vimy Square , to commemorate the strategic battle in April 1917, in which 3598 soldiers lost their lives. The Great Depression that descended in 1929 ended the plans for the square, and only building erected to complement the ambitious scheme was the Canada Life Building. However, the harsh economic times forced Canada Life to reduce the height of both building and its tower. Fortunately, the impressive structure stands today as a reminder of what might have been if the stock market crash had not occurred.

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The Canada Life building in 1930, the tower still under constructions, with the west wing of Osgoode hall visible in the foreground. (photo from City of Toronto Archives)

When the Canada Life building opened, the public was permitted to visit the Tower Room room near the top of the tower. However, by the 1950s, as there were several buildings that were much higher, fewer people were visiting it, and the observatory was closed. Today, on the final weekend of May, during the “Doors Open Toronto”event, people can once more take the elevator to the room at the top and gaze at the magnificent views of the city. Through the years, the Tower Room has been used for receptions, and on occasion employed as a space to hold exams for actuarial students.

Above the Tower Room, in August 1951, the Canada Life Beacon commenced shining its weather-forecasting light across the downtown area. Inspired by a similar beacon in New York City, it was a system of changing lights that gave the weather forecast – green – good weather, red – cloudy weather, flashing red –rain, flashing white – snow. The information was updated four times a day and is determined from computer data.

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            Tower and beacon (left)                       Ornate east facade with Doric pilasters around entrance 

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                           Impressive lobby of the Canada Life Building

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       Tower Room with observation windows overlooking the city of Toronto

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View looking south on University Avenue from the windows of the Tower Room

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In 1939, for the first time in Canadian history, a reigning monarch visited the country. The Canada Life Assurance Company commissioned A. J. Casson, a member of the Group of Seven, to paint a canvas to commemorate the event. The painting depicts King George VI and Queen Elizabeth passing in front of the Canada Life Building, its facade decorated for the occasion. 

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                                          Canada Life Building in June, 2012.

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view previous blogs about movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It relates anecdotes and stories of the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                      cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852

   To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Store and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791

Theatres Included in the Book:

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), the Photodrome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

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History of Toronto – Clarence Square on Spadina south of King St. W

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The land occupied by Clarence Square was at one time a part of the military reserve attached to Fort York. It was laid out in the 1830s by British engineers to form an important part of a lakeside promenade. During those years, the shoreline of Lake Ontario was on the south side of Front Street, but in the years ahead landfill pushed the lake farther south. Today Clarence Square is isolated from the water, but remains a small charming park, its giant trees providing a quiet retreat in the heart of the city, secluded from the heat of the summer sun.

It is reminiscent of squares created in London, England, during the 1820s. These Regency-style squares possessed wide avenues, with vistas terminating in large spaces that were open to the public. Regent Street in central London is perhaps the best known example. The design was later promoted in Canada by amateur architects such as William Warren Baldwin.

Several sources I consulted stated that Clarence Square was named after Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence (1864-1892) eldest son of Edward VII. However, the name Clarence Square appears on the city maps of the 1850s, before Albert Victor was born. It is more likely that the square received its name from the third son of King George III, Prince William Henry, born in 1765. In 1789, he was granted the title Duke of Clarence and St. Andrew’s. The Duke served in the Royal Navy and became Admiral of the Fleet in 1811.

he Duke of Clarence ascended the throne as King William IV, and died on June 20, 1837. This was the decade when Clarence Square was created by the British troops from Fort York, and it was likely named in his honour. William IV was succeeded on the throne by his niece, Elizabeth Victoria, and the Victorian era was born.

Most sources that record the history of Clarence Square and Wellington Place (now Wellington St. West) offer the opinion that they fell short of their potential and never developed as they were envisioned. However, examining old maps of the city, it seems that this is not truly accurate. Mansions and estates did indeed appear on Wellington Place, lining both sides of the avenue. These grand homes were surrounded by spacious grounds and ornate gardens. Unfortunately, they were destroyed in the twentieth century during the street’s transition from residential to industrial/commercial.

The same is true for Clarence Square. Two of the grandest houses ever constructed in Toronto were situated on the square. On the north side at number 304 was the home of Hugh John Macdonald, son of Sir John A. Macdonald, the nation’s first prime minister.

On the south side of the square at number 303 was the residence of John Gordon, a magnificent mansion in the detailed Italianate style. Gordon was a very wealthy man who had acquired a fortune importing dry goods. He became the president of the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway. These two houses had sufficient space surrounding them that it was not possible to build more houses on the square. In the centre of the square was an ornate fountain. It was truly a prestigious area during those years.

The extensive land owned by John Gordon, to the south of his residence, was purchased by the railway to allow train tracks to be laid on the south side of Front Street. Within a year or two, because of the noise and soot of the steam engines, Clarence Square was no longer viewed as a desirable residential location, so the house was sold and eventually demolished.

Macdonald’s home, on the north side of the square, disappeared in the late 1870s and in its place row houses was built, in the Second Empire style. The bricks of these historic residences are today hidden beneath grey stucco. Most of them are now offices.

It is a pity that there is no historic plaque to commemorate the history of the square. The plaque that exists in the northwest corner honours Alexander Dunn, who in 1854 was the first Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross. There is a plan to redevelop this old square, and perhaps this deficiency will then be corrected.

The above information is from the book, “The Villages Within,” short listed for the Toronto Heritage Awards.

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                Clarence Square, 14 October 1913 – City of Toronto Archives

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    Row houses from the 1880s on north side of Clarence Square (May, 2012)

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                      Mature trees in Clarence Square today

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view previous posts about movie houses of Toronto—old and new

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to other posts placed on this blog about the history of Toronto and its heritage buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                           cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852[2]

                To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

      Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

 

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The old Dominion Bank Building–now a condo-hotel at One King St. West

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As a teenager, I was employed by the Dominion Bank for two summers. It was in the days prior to its merger in 1955 with the Bank of Toronto, when it became the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank). I worked at the Dominion Bank at Bloor St. and Dovercourt Road, and another summer at the branch at Bloor and Bathurst Streets. Both these branches are no longer in operation. I delivered bank drafts to customers within walking distance of the bank and handled the cash book, which recorded the daily transactions of the tellers. Balancing the book was a real challenge for me. My only help was an adding machine. On Friday evenings, when the bank was crammed with customers, I wrote up the pass books (bank books), with a fountain pen, entering the amount of the withdrawals and deposits and calculating the new balance. No adding machine was available for this endeavour.

Because of my teenage experiences, it was with great interest that I visited the old Dominion Bank building during this year’s “Doors Open Toronto” program. Located at One King Street West, the 12-storey skyscraper was erected in 1914, the year the First World War began. Built in the Beaux-Arts style, it was designed by the firm of Darling and Pearson, with the co-operation of the engineering company of Harkness and Oxley. Many of the head office activities of the bank were located within the building.  The Grand Banking Hall, 154 feet long and 68 feet wide, contains Corinthian pilasters (faux columns) and features Travertine marble throughout the space. Its 45-foot ceiling has a gold-leaf coffered design that features the emblems of Canada’s nine provinces. The crest of Newfoundland is missing as it did not join the Confederation until 1949. The original 100-foot tellers’ counter is now  a bar, the longest in the nation. A branch remained on the premises until the year 2000. In 2005, the building was sold for residential use, and was redesigned for this purpose by the architect Stanford Downey. It is presently one of the most prestigious condo-residences in the city.

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The Grand Banking Hall is today a restaurant. Its Corinthian pilasters are evident in this photo.

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Coffered ceiling with the gold-leaf designs that depict the provincial emblems of Canada’s original nine provinces.

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view previous posts about movie houses of Toronto—old and new

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to other posts placed on this blog about the history of Toronto and its heritage buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                           cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852

                To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

      Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Toronto

 

Automobile-free Sundays in the Kensington Market

During the summer months, on the Sundays when automobiles are banned from the Kensington Market, the district changes from a European-style market into a street carnival. Food stands, buskers, and kiosks appear on roadways usually reserved for cars. People descend on the streets to enjoy the sights, sample the foods, and shop without having to worry about the traffic.

I shop in the market almost every day, and I am familiar with the shops and streets, but on car-free days I view the market through new eyes. Sitting in one of the cafes to enjoy a coffee takes on new dimensions. The food that is offered is endless, with not a hamburger or hotdog in sight, most of the proffered items being either Asian or South American. However, in front of a Portuguese restaurant they grill sardines on a charcoal grill. Musician magically appear, their music enlivening the area. The variety of the music is amazing. As one walks along the avenues, and the notes of one musician die away, the rhythms of another appears, to the delight of youngsters and adults alike. The market presents a kaleidoscope of endless colour and sound.

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                   People on Augusta Avenue enjoying the street scene

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Characters available to have your picture taken with (no request for a fee was in evidence)

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                            Grilling sardines –  Portuguese style

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       Giant sidewalk scrabble board                           Letter writing activity

I have spent much of my adult life researching and photographing Toronto. I love the city and enjoy exploring it through my writing. One of the books, “The Villages Within”, was nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. If interested in novels with a Toronto setting, descriptions of the books are available by following the link: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/toronto-author-publishes-seventh-novel/

They can be purchased in soft cover or electronic editions. All books are available at Chapters/Indigo and on Amazon.com. The electronic editions are less that $4 on Kobo and Kindle. Follow the links:

There Never Was a Better Time: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000056586/THERE-NEVER-WAS-A-BETTER-TIME.aspx

Arse Over Teakettle: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx

The Reluctant Virgin; http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx

The Villages Within: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000175211/The-Villages-Within.aspx

Author’s Home Page: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

Authors can be contacted at: tayloronhistory@gmail.com

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems–the massive vault in the 1914 Dominion Bank building

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My previous post on the old Dominion Bank building at #1 King Street West featured the architecture and Grand Banking Hall of the building. When it was completed in 1914, the structure was merely one of many tall buildings in the city, but its sophisticated Renaissance Revival design assured its place as one of the great architectural gems of Toronto.

When I visited the structure on the “Doors Open Toronto” weekend, I was able to walk down the impressive marble staircase to the lower level to view the bank’s massive vault. When it was installed (see picture below), it was the largest vault in Canada, and was reputed to have the heaviest door of any bank vault in the country. It weighed over 30 tons. It was equipped with a telephone in case someone was accidentally locked in the vault at night. 

On the “Doors Open Toronto” weekend, visitors were also allowed to view the boardroom and president’s office on the fifteenth floor.

Today, the building is a hotel/condo residence. The vault is employed for wine tastings and the boardroom and adjoining president’s office are used by the condo owners for meetings, parties etc. They are also rented for weddings and private functions. The condo owners are indeed fortunate to have access to such grand facilities. 

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The installation of the bank vault in the Dominion Bank Building in 1914 (photo from City of Toronto Archives)

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        Marble staircase leading down to the vault in the Dominion Bank building

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The 30-ton door of the vault in the lower level of the Dominion Bank building

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                                                The president’s office

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                      The boardroom in the 1914 Dominion Bank building

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                                  Marble fireplace in the boardroom

I have spent much of my adult life researching and photographing Toronto. I love the city and enjoy exploring it through my writing. One of the books, “The Villages Within”, was nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. If interested in novels with a Toronto setting, descriptions of the books are available by following the link: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/toronto-author-publishes-seventh-novel/

They can be purchased in soft cover or electronic editions. All books are available at Chapters/Indigo and on Amazon.com. The electronic editions are less that $4 on Kobo and Kindle. Follow the links:

There Never Was a Better Time: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000056586/THERE-NEVER-WAS-A-BETTER-TIME.aspx

Arse Over Teakettle: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx

The Reluctant Virgin; http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx

The Villages Within: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000175211/The-Villages-Within.aspx

Author’s Home Page: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

Authors can be contacted at: tayloronhistory@gmail.com

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Toronto

 

Pecaut Square–the hub of Luminato

This year’s Luminato, held between 8-17 June, contains 50 new art installations, involving 6500 artists from more than 35 countries. In 2005, Tong Gagliano and David Pecaut, two civic leaders, inspired by the cultural diversity and excellence of Toronto’s arts scene, joined forces to create what has become one of the most important arts festivals in North America. It inauguration was on 1 June 2007, aided by funds from the Ontario Government and thirty organizations or individuals. This year’s festival has 50 donors. The three important ideas that Cagliano and Pecaut stressed for the annual arts festival were collaboration, accessibility, and diversity. They envisioned Luminato as a way to engage local and immigrant cultures in the arts scene of the city. 

The hub of this year’s festival is at David Pecaut Square, in the heart of the Entertainment District, where many of the festivities are held. The square’s theme is Windscape, has been designed by the architectural firm of Diamond and Schmitt, located on Adelaide Street. To emphasize their theme, they have created nine 3-metre-long orange windsocks, mounted on poles. Inflated by large fans, capable of pushing 12,000 cubic feet of air a minute through the windsocks, they rotate and swirl, generating a carnival-like atmosphere.

Surrounding the huge stage hosting the events, a enormous band of blue ribbon, 100 metres long and 6 metres high, sweeps across the space, encasing the concert area to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

For further information about Pecaut Square and Luminato, see the article by Martin Kelman in the 6 June “Life and Entertainment Section”of the Toronto Star.

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          Giant windsocks, inflated by huge fans, in David Pecaut Square

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The band of blue ribbon being installed in the square in preparation for Luminato

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These two pictures of the square were taken on Thursday, the day before the opening of Luminato

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The blue ribbon fully installed, the stage and space for the audience awaiting a performance. This picture was taken in the morning of the day that Luminato opened. 

I have spent much of my adult life researching and photographing Toronto. I love the city and enjoy exploring it through my writing. One of the books, “The Villages Within”, was nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. If interested in novels with a Toronto setting, descriptions of the books are available by following the link: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/toronto-author-publishes-seventh-novel/

They can be purchased in soft cover or electronic editions. All books are available at Chapters/Indigo and on Amazon.com. The electronic editions are less that $4 on Kobo and Kindle. Follow the links:

There Never Was a Better Time: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000056586/THERE-NEVER-WAS-A-BETTER-TIME.aspx

Arse Over Teakettle: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx

The Reluctant Virgin; http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx

The Villages Within: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000175211/The-Villages-Within.aspx

Author’s Home Page: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

Authors can be contacted at: tayloronhistory@gmail.com

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Toronto